Emails have become an integral part of our life. Signing your message in business correspondence can tell your recipients a lot. In this post, we discuss what an email signature is, why you should create such a signature, and the best practices for this. Continue reading to make your brand look professional.
What Is an Email Signature?
An email signature, email footer, or branded signature is the last part of an email that a recipient sees. In general, a business email signature includes information about the sender. So, it becomes an efficient tool for telling the audience about you or your company.
Types of Email Signatures
There are different kinds of email signatures. First, there are company-wide signatures and personal, or individual signatures.
Second, it’s possible to distinguish general and specialized signatures among company-wide signatures. As for the general ones, they represent the organization’s details without indicating a particular person. You can often find such signatures in the company’s newsletters. As you can see in the screenshot below, the email is from the Semrush Team, without naming a particular sender.
Specialized or personalized company signatures represent the employee’s name and information about the company. The company mentioned above, Semrush, uses such signatures alongside company-wide signatures.
Personal or individual email signatures are characteristic of professionals working individually, such as designers, writers, and photographers.
Why Do You Need an Email Signature?
There are numerous reasons why creating email signatures is worth it, and we’ll mention the most important ones.
Create Brand Identity
Company-wide signatures often include a logo, so customers associate the email with the company more easily, and your brand supports its identity.
If we speak about employees’ emails, standardized signatures help to provide coherence between different departments. You can allow all employees to create their own signatures that follow the same structure. Alternatively, it’s possible to create and personalize company-wide signatures for each employee. In this case, if customers communicate with representatives of various departments, they will receive emails with consistent, reputable signatures following the brand’s identity. Undoubtedly, such coherence creates trust in the company.
The easiest way to drive traffic to your company’s website is to add the link to email signatures. Clicking the link in the email is easy, and the customers who have reached the end of the email are likely to visit your site. Thus, you can increase your position on the search engine results page without much effort.
One of the best practices for email signatures is adding banners that inform recipients about
- recent content (such as blog posts, case studies, etc.)
- new products or services
- sales, discounts, or promotions
- upcoming events (such as conferences, webinars, etc.)
You can create standardized company-wide signatures and customize them for different departments or employees. Then, the target audience will receive relevant information.
For those working individually, a good-looking email signature provides essential contact details and creates a long-lasting impression with a personalized professional touch. Such signatures usually remind clients about your job or services and encourage them to cooperate with you.
Best Practices for Email Signatures
Let’s look at the best practices to help you create a unique email signature.
1. Choose the Size and Format
One of the most important rules is not to overdo with your signature. Decide on the essential information to include and keep your signature short and neat. A bulk of data can deter people’s attention and thus impact your reputation negatively.
Usually, professional business email signatures consist of about seven lines. Each line should be about 72 characters. They are enough to include the key contact details without overloading your signature with unnecessary information.
If we speak about the dimensions, you can use a height of 150px-200px and a width of 300px-600px. These dimensions allow you to put the necessary data and make the signature look good on different devices.
2. Organize the Space Wisely
Space organization helps to prioritize the information. It’s better to use hierarchy while presenting your data by first putting the most important details. Another email signatures best practice is adding dividers that separate the data effectively and make elements prominent.
Furthermore, check the white space in your design to make email signature parts easily discerned.
3. Decide on the Essential Elements of Your Email Signature
Think about the type of your signature, its primary purpose, and brand identity. Then, make sure your signature follows your company style in all elements.
You should use the most common fonts (Times New Roman, Tahoma, Arial, Courier New, Georgia, or Verdana) to be on the safe side. First, they are easy to read so that customers will process the text faster. Second, they are supported by most browsers and devices, and you can escape compatibility issues.
Draw attention to your text with the font style and size rather than experimenting with different fonts. Choose large letters for the most important information. It’s also possible to use bold, italics, and an additional color for the font. And the general rule not to overdo applies to fonts, so avoid using too many variations.
Images in Email Signatures: Best Practices
It is vital for email signature images to be of high quality. The use of low-resolution pictures can spoil the impression and negatively impact your brand. Usually, email signatures include employees’ photos which should have a neutral background. Also, it’s better to add headshots rather than a full-body photo.
Additionally, you can use your brand logo for both employees’ and company-wide signatures. In any case, remember not to include too many images. The optimal number for images in signatures is two.
Selecting your brand colors are email signatures best practices. Using them ensures remarkable consistency. So, pick up to three colors (or shades) from your logo and experiment with your signature. Remember that applying too many colors can make your signature look unprofessional and gaudy.
You can have a minimalistic design, using a white background and black text, as in the screenshot below.
Alternatively, it’s possible to apply your brand colors to the text and background. Make sure that the chosen colors are not too light; it’s better to prefer dark and high contrast color shades.
The task of an email signature is to inform customers about the person or company that is sending the email. Also, the signature provides additional ways of contacting the sender. So, you should include the following data:
- employee’s name and title (for personalized company emails) or your name and title (if you are a professional working individually)
- company name (and, preferably, logo)
- website address (making sure the link is clickable)
- email address
- social media icons
Social Icons: A Few Tips
While creating company-wide signatures, it’s vital to include those social media that represent your brand best. If you create a company-wide signature, you can add links to your brand’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube accounts, and blog. Also, it’s possible to tailor social icons to match them with your style and chosen colors. The screenshot below shows Oxford University Press uses its brand blue color for all social icons.
If you add social media icons to employees’ signatures, it’s better to choose professional networks such as LinkedIn rather than directing customers to workers’ personal pages. Don’t include too many icons not to make the design cluttered.
A company motto is not a compulsory element of an email signature. Yet, it helps to support your brand identity, so you can consider adding your slogan to the signature. Other quotes (such as the ones that employees like) should be avoided if they are unrelated to the content.
If your company has outstanding results and received awards recently, you can show them off in your email signature. It’s an excellent way to increase trust and brand awareness. However, this element is not compulsory, and your signature can safely do without it.
Disclaimers, Legal Notices, and Confidentiality Clauses
The necessity to include disclaimers and legal notices depend on the country and the sphere where you work. Mostly, disclaimers are vital in emails in such industries as finances, banking, and law. Often, email signatures contain a confidentiality clause stating that the information included in the email is intended only for the recipient. Thus, you can protect the data from unauthorized use.
In the above screenshot, you can see that Coursera protects its rights and informs recipients about this.
4. Include Calls-to-Action
A call-to-action, or CTA, is undoubtedly another email signatures best practice. It is a simple way to stay connected with and engage your audience. Some most common calls-to-action are:
- subscribe to the channel, blog, social media, or newsletter
- order goods or services with a discount (you can provide a promo code for this)
- provide a review (if your customers have already purchased an item)
- find a job (if you are extending your team)
By connecting your CTA in email signatures to your marketing goals, you can significantly boost website traffic and increase conversions.
5. Make Your Signature Responsive
Thinking about your signature’s accessibility on different screens is a must as more and more people use mobile devices to read their emails. Making your signature responsive shows your company’s professionalism and care about all customers.
6. Target Your Audience
If you want your email signatures to be efficient, create several signatures for your customers’ needs. After outlining the general information that can be included in the signature, segment your audience and add the most relevant data. You can achieve this easily, even by adding different banners.
Furthermore, it’s possible to have multiple signatures for each employee. Your workers can use longer signatures for outgoing emails and shorter ones – for replying. There’s nothing wrong with testing various signatures to see what works better and choosing the most effective variants.
7. Check Email Signatures Carefully
Having multiple signatures for various departments and employees means a bigger chance of inconsistency. If you want all your signatures to look professional, remember to check them.
First, ensure that all signatures follow the same pattern and contain essential information. Unifying signatures throughout your company shows the brand’s attention to detail.
Second, check all the links in your email signatures carefully. If your email recipients click on a broken link, they will have a negative impression that can damage your reputation. And, the more people try to open a broken link in a branded email, the bigger the impact is.
8. Trust Professionals to Create Code
The best practices for company email signatures also imply creating code that works properly in all email clients or apps. You may visualize your signature and save the design yourself. However, it’s recommended to trust the development of an email signature HTML code to professionals if you don’t know how to do this.
Surely, you can find email signature generators online. They are quite easy to use, and you can generate signatures whenever you need them. However, such resources often have limitations in design and functions.
When a professional developer creates a code, you can discuss all your requirements (what information it should include, whether you need multiple signatures, what email clients the signature should be based on, etc.). Then, you’ll get precisely what you want.
9. Update Signatures Regularly
Besides checking your signature elements, such as links, for working properly, it’s vital to update signatures regularly. Not only do employees come and go from time to time, or new departments are created, but also contact details can change. Likewise, if you add banners to signatures, you should ensure your customers receive up-to-date information.
Creating a branded signature can seem difficult. Yet, if you follow the best practices for email signatures that we’ve mentioned, you’ll increase your brand awareness and customers’ trust, and get higher chances of converting people into regular customers.
PSD2HTML Offering Discounts on Bulk Email Signatures
In case you don’t know this yet, we recently launched a new service – the development of email signatures, and offer various discounts on bulk email signatures with similar looking designs. Check out this post for more information or get in touch with us to discuss your needs.